Adolescence can truly be a horrifying time, as we all know, having gone through it ourselves. The Shed takes all of the frustrations and externalizes them into monster horror.
Real World Problems
Living with his strict grandfather, Stan’s home life is far from ideal. He doesn’t quite fit in with school, and often finds himself at odds with a trio of bullies, who constantly pick on him and his only friend Dommer.
However, everything changes when Stan encounters a strange human/creature, whom he confines to his shed in the backyard. Anyone who approaches the shed mysteriously disappears, consumed by the alleged vampire inside.
Admittedly, the film takes a bit long to get going with the supernatural/monster angle. We spend the first two acts not seeing very much of what’s going on, and just focusing on Stan’s world falling apart.
The real horror doesn’t really happen until the last 20-30 minutes. Which isn’t always a bad thing if a movie is taking its time with a slow burn tension build. The Shed attempts to do this and has varying levels of success from scene to scene.
Pacing issues aside, what makes the movie interesting isn’t the horror itself, but rather what it represents. For many of us, our teenage/high school years were far from ideal, especially for horror fans.
As Stephen King once said, “I hated high school. I don’t trust anyone who looks back on the years from 14 to 18 with any enjoyment. If you liked being a teenager, there’s something wrong with you.”
As King so dramatically puts it, teenage years can be painful, and that’s definitely a sentiment felt by Stan in the movie. One could argue that the monster trapped in his shed is an external metaphor for the immense angst and frustration that Stan feels.
How many teenagers feel like they’re emotions are trapped in a shed, only to lash out and attack anyone who dares approach?
In the realm of teenage monster horror, The Shed doesn’t quite live up to classics like Fright Night or Ginger Snaps, although it does draw inspiration from them. It’s a bit slow at times, but it’s an interesting idea and has a creepy third act.
The Shed is streaming exclusively on Shudder!